Simply Whitstable Logo - Click for home page

The Simply Whitstable Web Site

Simply Whitstable - Natives Abroad
Sidney, Canada by John Harman

Last Sunday morning I ventured into town - mainly to check out the direction of lighting as I had decided that evening would be the best time for most shots. 


"A quiet Sunday morning at Sidney by the Sea"

However, down at the water front, there was a sight just asking to be photographed. I took a chance even though the sun was almost in my face. You can see the result above.

It was the annual "Gathering of gaffers" at Sidney and that wonderful craft in the centre is the 65 ft wooden topsail schooner Alcyone making a visit from Port Townsend, Washington. She is a training and charter vessel and, for anyone interested, there is a relevant web site for the craft.

The photograph was taken at low water - not that it makes much difference here! The water is very deep and hardly leaves the shore - apart from exposing a few rocks. I have actually seen whales swimming in closer to shore than those boats!

Sidney is, of course, located on a peninsular at the southern tip of Vancouver Island. This is just off the west coast of Canada and close to the border with the USA. 

At the tip of the peninsula, there are magnificent views across the Gulf Islands between here and Vancouver. Mount Baker is clearly visible even though it is actually located in the USA.....  


 Distant views of Mount Baker in the USA 


The ferry passes between the islands before crossing the Georgia Straits to a port just south of Vancouver on the Canadian mainland. It is a one and half hour crossing and very scenic



Of course, I have my own boat - a 'Drascombe Lugger' called "The Bucky Lugger"...... 


"The Bucky Lugger"


The photo above was taken six years back but that is not me giving orders to the dog, I am the one peering from under the sail. It is, of course, a wooden craft... not a Tupperware one... and it is very similar to the Second Whitstable Sea Scouts vessel featured on the web site in the past. 

Of course, while boats may not differ too much, cars do and I have included some photos of my early vehicles after moving to Canada. I was living in Toronto at the time..... 



My very first was the 1938 Dodge pictured above. It was old and I paid juts 40 dollars for it.  I later sold it to a young chap for 50 dollars. He covered the holes in the floor with cardboard and drove it 3,000 plus miles from Toronto to California !

My pride and joy came later... in the form the 1954 Ford Victoria (hard top). This was a smart looking vehicle with two tone, metallic green body and cream top (see below).



The engine was a large V8 with OHV, automatic. Notice the tyres are white walls (not seen today) and look at that large steering wheel. The front seat was the typical American " bench seat" that stretched from side to side. The hood ornament took the form of a plane.  

A handy feature was the spot light - with the rear view mirror mounted on it.  This could be operated from inside - useful when looking for a house number. The car also had a huge trunk (boot). On one occasion before we married, Anne had to climb into it to gain traction in a snow drift.

The Ford is pictured on a typical Ontario unmade farm road called a 'line' - with a number rather than a name!

Of course, before coming to Canada, I had never thought of owning a car.  Until then, I did everything on a bike! While taking a driving lesson here, I came to a point where the surface of the road had been dug up. The instructor said to me "Go over on to the pavement''.  I was totally bewildered. He actually meant the on-coming lane that was still in tact... and NOT what I now call the 'sidewalk'!


John Harman
June 2004

 The Simply Whitstable Web Site